Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mika's Jammies

We bought Mika her "Jammies" at Regionals. They're great! They keep her warm when it's chilly outside, since she gets cold so easily. She surprisingly doesn't mind it as much as her sweaters (and the dreaded rainsuit!). We got Wall-e some Jammies too, but he probably won't be needing them as much! :)

Completing the weave training?

Wall-e's weave training will be finished soon, maybe, if everything goes as planned (which might happen, haha, you never know with dogs, not that I mind :) His weaves are great so far, 12 straight poles with guide wires. Before I start fading the guies, we just need to work on staying in the poles at the end and getting on-side entries harder than 90 degrees. His entries have improved a LOT since doing 2x2, but they're not perfect. He's a very good boy though and always tries so hard!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Little know-it-all :)

Wall-e is seriously scaring me...that little guy seems to know EVERYTHING. Whatever jump/tunnel exercises I throw at him in the backyard, he gets right, and with lots of speed too. Course difficulty probably won't be a problem for him. (Just the running contacts :) He's jumping 16" regularly now, and the occasional double jump too, since he'll be in Regular and will have to jump doubles, triples (spreads), and broad jumps. He hasn't tried a triple or broad jump yet but when we go to the field this afternoon I'm going to start training his broad jump.


Monday, September 28, 2009

24" weaves

So I set up the stick-in-the-ground weaves at 24" spacing (new rules for AAC, coming September 2010). Wall-e is doing 12 straight poles with guide wires now. (after working through Steps 1-6 of 2x2. He didn't understand Step 7 so we went back to WAM's/guides/channels to finish his weave training.) He is definitely going faster at 24". I tried Mika then, and the first time she popped out because she wasn't sure of what to do with her feet! The second time she mis-stepped a couple times (she would hop and then have to take another hopping stride to make it far enough to the next pole), but finished the set. I think that once she gets used to it, she'll be just fine at 24" weaves. The rule change will only take place in September 2010 anyway.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

AAC trial Sep. 26, 2009

One of my favourite runs of the year! I was so happy with this run...Mika was running as fast as she could, the entire time! It was a dream run. She was SO happy. She aced that gamble too, that only 3 other dogs got out of 22 in total. I can't believe that she's now running as fast as she can -- last year I would never have believed the speeds she's able to run at.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My weird pets

Mika always likes to randomly go in 2o2o on the backyard plank. She'll just be sniffing around the backyard and she'll walk onto the plank and stop in 2o2o. And she hasn't had a 2o2o on the DW in years!

Yes, it's the "scary sheep" again! Shadow doesn't seem to be scared of it at all. In fact, she's rather fond of it and will hop on its back and sit there, calmly looking out at the world.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

AAC trials Sep. 13 and 20, 2009

Our latest couple of trials.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mika and Wall-e latest video

Put together my favourite clips from the last couple of months and made a video. I'm in love with how fast Mika's teeter has gotten!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New, REALLY long bully sticks

We got some new bully sticks for the dogs. They're more than twice the lengths of the regular bully sticks!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The last four foundation classes

I've really been neglecting my blog lately. I'll really try to update more from now on. Sooo... Some more quick summaries of Wall-e's puppy foundation classes:

Class #4
The puppies practiced doing hand touches with the handlers' hands lying flat against the ground, palm up. (Good boy Wall-e, nice strong touches!) More work on the balance discs. Wall-e got to work on the small disc again, he did great and got all 4 paws on again! Then more wobble board (Wall-e again had tons of confidence), and then the puppies took turns walking over 3 planks that are raised on cinder blocks and placed at 90 degree angles to each other, so the puppies had to turn left and right as they walked or trotted over the plank.

Class #5
Before class we went over to Wall-e's breeder's house for a visit and did Wall-e ever have fun being chased by his 4 month old half-brother, around and around!! I'm surprised he still had energy left for the class! Crazy shelties.

More wobble board, and then the puppies got to become familiar with the tunnel. Two of the puppies (Wall-e and one of the aussies) already knew the tunnel so they didn't have to go through all of the shaping.

Wall-e sure slept good that night after all the excitement.

Class #6
Again some wobble board, and also more perch work (a.k.a. the "elephant" trick, where the dog keeps his front paws on the little platform and steps around it with his back feet). Wall-e did amazing with that! He's got quite a bit of back-end awareness. Also, more tunnel stuff. The instructor had me stand in the middle of the tunnel and send Wall-e into an end of the tunnel only using my forearm (not even my shoulders!). Wall-e didn't quite understand so I had to help him a bit and eventually just gave up and used my shoulders ;) He even jumped ON TOP of the tunnel a couple times!

Last class, sadly...they were a lot of fun, and lots of good info! The puppies started off by being shaped to put their front paws on a Theraball (exercise ball) and walk forward while pushing the ball with their front paws. I knew right away that Wall-e would try to jump on top of the Theraball instead of just pushing it with his front paws, because we do a lot of conditioning at home with him on top of the ball, to build core muscles. He did try to jump on top a couple times, but then he got it, although I didn't make him walk too much at one time. Then the puppies got to play with a very low teeter, banging the end and jumping off. The instructor finished the last class by introducing the puppies to the "baby" chute (with only about 5 or 6 feet of fabric). Since Wall-e knows the chute already (I re-trained it at home last month, but he loves it now), I tried to send him through the flat chute, but he ran around it. He did that at his last fun match too -- I'll have to get him used to lots of different chutes in different environments. So the instructor held it open for him like the other puppies, and he ran through it nicely. She gradually lowered the fabric until it was barely held open at all.

Wall-e loved these classes -- he would RUN towards the door of the building, he wanted to go inside and play! That's perfect because most of his future trials will be held at this venue. By the way, his first trial will probably be May 2010 (that's when the outdoor trials start, and I want his first trial to be outdoors). Or, if Mika goes to Regionals next year, June. Only in Jumpers at the beginning -- those running contacts are tough (but FUN!), so we'll have to keep away from the classes with contacts for a while. It's worth it!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wall-e's herding instinct test

The video of Wall-e's herding instinct test. He's an amazing little guy! He knows how to keep it light-hearted too, as you'll see at the end when he tries to play with the sheep.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The sheep face-off!

Wall-e staring those sheep right in the face.

Wall-e had his very first try at herding on Tuesday. (It was a herding instinct test.) Even though he's small he still got them to respect him! He definitely has herding instinct :D For the first 15 minutes, at least! After that he got tired and was more interested in trying to get the Border Collie to play. (The BC completely ignored him and just wanted to herd "his" sheep!) But at the beginning of the instinct test, Wall-e was chasing those sheep and having a lot of fun. He started off with some lambs and eventually moved to the whole flock. For his first time I think he did really good! We'll try it again in the spring, and this time I'll make sure to only let him go for about 10 minutes, so he doesn't get completely tired out.